Hey everyone, this is my first post. Anyways I need some advice on a mini triathlon my friends and I are having this summer.
- Approx 12 people competing, possibly a few more.
- Biking course is about 2.5 miles, about 4 major hills (two going up, two going down). There will be two crossings (higher-traffic roads), both shut off as we approach. The course starts in a residential neighborhood and ends in one.
- Running: about 1.5 mile, on closed track.
- Swimming: 3/4 mile (one side of the lake to the other)
Alright, basically I think the biking course should be longer, no one else agrees with me, so that won't be changing. This event is in about 1.5 months. The bike I'm riding is a Bianchi - not sure what model (or specs), I can put pictures up later. Its a hand-me-down my brother used to ride. I know a few competitors will be riding BMX bikes.
Basically the training starts tomorrow and I have a few questions in regards to the bike course. Is it wise to start off strong and maintain decent energy through-out? Or is it wise to start off at a decent pace and throw all the energy into it towards the end? It starts off going down hill, and ends going up hill.
Sorry for the long post, I'm a "newbie" so if I sound dumb at all ... please excuse that. I really don't know any technical aspects of competetive racing. Please help me out, and thank you in advance!
I agree with you -- the ride should be a bit longer. At 2.5 miles you barely even get on your bike b/f you have to get off. A big part of the challenge in Triathlon is making your body totally change muscle groups. The first time you force your legs to go from riding a bike to running you will think the lower part of your body somehow turned to Jello in the transition. Then again, maybe if your friends are BMXing they may have to do quite a few more rotations than you will on your road bike-- so that may be more of a challenge.
* Don't change clothes - whatever you wear to swim in also wear to bike and run in. Based on the distances you are doing do not take the time to put on socks or to wear clipless pedals. The less you put on or take off the better.
* Research fueling and hydration. You can be the most fit person out there but if you do not hydrate or fuel properly you will feel the effects and that translates into bad performance.
* Before you swim - intake about 100 calories (one packet of Gu)
* As soon as you get on your bike - drink about 1/2 your water bottle. But have your water bottle filled with energy drink NOT JUST WATER. You will be burning calories and sweating. You need to refuel and you need to replenish electrolytes so drink the remainder of your bottle as you ride.
* Have another packet of GU already in a pocket or somehow pinned to the inside of your shorts or swim suit. As soon as you start the run-- take the GU.
This is a very short race and should be an all out sprint. Based on the distances you described and noting that you have a month and a half to train you can train your body to function at or just below Lactate threshold for the entirety of the race. In any tri it all comes down to the run (or the last leg of the race). How you get there is dependent on your strengths and that of your competition. If you suck at running and you know your competitor is an awesome runner -- you need to try and put as much distance as you can from him on the leg of the race that you excel at. But do not go above LT-- unless you are at the point in the race that you can finish at LT.
This is the thing-- if you are on a road bike and they are not you have a HUGE advantage you will go faster and be less fatigued at the end of the 2.5 miles. No need to completely burn your legs unless you are a really slow runner. If anything, when you are training-- find out your average mph on the bike and compare to the avg mph of your friends. Then you have an idea of how much lead time you have for the run. Because again-- the last leg is by far the most important. You can talk to a number of triathletes that have blown a race by going all out on the swim/bike and have nothing left for the last leg. I know amazing runners that have had to walk a large portion of their race-- b/c they didn't plan properly. The trick is to know your body-- practice what you will do-- and fuel and hydrate appropriately.
Good luck to you. I am very excited for you. Your first triathlon is something you never forget. Be careful-- it is a very addictive sport that has a tendency to be quite consuming of time and money. But when the byproducts of a hobby are health, fitness and stress reduction-- you can't beat it.
If you really are looking for a longer bike portion-- look into signing up for a local sprint triathlon. Most sprints are: Swim (300 to 800 yards), Bike (12 to 22miles) and Run 5k